The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has promised to revamp over 24 million businesses allegedly crippled by the All Progressives Congress led federal government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP Presidential Campaign Organization the Director Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a statement yesterday stating that Atiku has vowed to create wealth and facilitate new SME venture capital fund, if elected president in the February 16 presidential poll.
The statement said: “The strategic template will also revamp about 24 million businesses crippled by the Buhari Presidency and put millions of Nigerians, who had lost their jobs under President Buhari, back to work.
“The template is predicated on Atiku Abubakar’s staunch confidence in Nigerians as hard working people, with immense potentials to thrive in all fields of endeavor, given the right opportunity and environment conducive for business.
“Part of the initiative, as already laid out in Atiku Abubakar’s economy recovery plan, is to facilitate the establishment of a Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Venture Capital Fund, which in collaboration with the private sector will provide longer-term capital for targeted small firms across the states of the federation in various sectors of our economy.
“This initiative by Atiku Abubakar will attract a minimum of N90 billion ($250 million) of direct private sector funding for Nigerians in small and medium businesses with strategic windows for increased production and various sectors of the economy.
“This is in addition to a Financial Innovation Fund, with which Atiku Abubakar targets to incenticize commercial, micro-finance banks and other financial institutions for innovative solutions for credit to hard working Nigerians in small and medium businesses across our country.
“To ensure a seamless system, the plan articulates the establishment of a platform “for de-risking SME lending and increasing the SMEs funding window from N200 billion to N500 billion, as well as simplify the collateral registration process to unlock much needed finance for SMEs.
“This is in addition to the plan to reform and re-introduce the Small-scale Industries and Graduate Loan Guarantee, as well as the Small-Scale Industrial Credit Scheme among others to reduce stress on beneficiary businesses to thrive.
“This critical focus on the SMEs, where a greater population of Nigerians engage in various sectors, captures Atiku Abubakar’s plan to ensure rapid stimulation of the economy at the base, as well as accelerate the growth of the real sector of the economy to open up self and wage-paying job opportunities.
“This pathway conceptualized by Atiku Abubakar, in his policy document, will give rise to new jobs in commercialized agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, construction and operation of infrastructure (including transportation; electricity, water supply and sewerage, real estate and telecommunications), as well as growth in financial services”, he said.
He therefore urged Nigerians to continue rallying with the PDP in our collective quest to use the February Presidential election to end the Buhari misrule and vote in Atiku Abubakar as the next President to return our nation to the path of national cohesion and economic prosperity.